You only get one chance to leave a great first impression, so make sure to use it! People who meet you will form opinions about you based on the way you’re dressed, your appearance, your mannerisms, your demeanor, and your body language. When someone forms an impression of you, it’s not easy to change it and they form it in a matter of seconds upon meeting you. So, use these 10 ways to leave a great first impression on anyone you meet:
Make sure to do your homework first. Who is it that you’re meeting, what do they care about and what could they need from you? Prepare some talking points ahead of time. Think about your strengths and how you could best use them. Consider some stories that you could tell that would make people laugh and come up with good answers to basic questions such as where you are from and what you do for a living.
2. Be punctual.
A sure way to leave a bad first impression is to show up late. The person who’s seeing you for the very first time in their life isn’t going to be interested in hearing about your excuses no matter how good they are. One of the ways to leave a great first impression is to arrive at least a few minutes early. Being punctual shows that your respect the other person and their time. It also shows courtesy and good manners, which are also important for leaving a good impression, but more on that later.
3. Dress accordingly.
Dress the part by considering whether this is a formal event or it’s okay to wear something more casual. Always consider the dress code and dress accordingly. Consider what the people that you’ll be meeting are likely to wear to this event. Make sure to present yourself well. Dress to impress. If you make sure to look your best you are more likely to radiate confidence and feel confident enough to approach people you don’t know.
4. Have good manners.
Being polite, courteous, and attentive will surely leave a good impression on those you meet. Make sure that you’re on your best behavior and show that you have good manners. Don’t get distracted while you’re talking to someone new. You most certainly shouldn’t look at your phone while you’re having a conversation, but try not to get distracted by other people either. Don’t be overbearing and don’t interrupt people while they speak.
5. Smile and make eye contact.
Put people at ease by greeting them with a warm, confident, and kind smile. Make sure that your smile is genuine though. People can notice when you’re having a fake smile on your face and it makes them think that you’re not sincere. If there are no laugh lines near your eyes and if your cheeks aren’t pushed up, it’s not a genuine smile!
6. Engage in small talk.
One of the best ways to leave a great first impression is to engage in small talk and really listen to things that the other person has to share with you. Show that you’re engaged by making eye contact and don’t interrupt the person. Ask interesting, open-ended questions and show interest in what the other person is talking about even if it’s not that interesting. Don’t finish their sentence and try to speak clearly and calmly.
7. Have a positive attitude.
No matter how great you look, it’s not going to help if you have a bad attitude. Try to have a positive attitude. If you’re finding this difficult, try to think about the time when you were very happy, grateful, or enthusiastic and let it put you into a good mood.
8. Be confident and open.
One of the ways to leave a great first impression is by being confident and open. Make sure that your body language projects this confidence. Stand tall, have a smile on your face, make eye contact, and greet people with a firm, steady handshake.
9. Find common ground.
Try to discover what you and the person you’re meeting have in common. You can do this ahead of time by researching them a bit as well as during the conversation with them. Did you go to the same school? Do you like the same sports team? Find what you have in common and bond over it.
10. Be your authentic self.
To some extent, you do need to fit in to leave a good impression. However, don’t pretend that you’re someone you’re not. Be your authentic self, just make sure that you present yourself in the most positive light.